Guide to the Bloatmage?


Advice


Wait, has nobody ever done one of these? I did a quick search but didn't see one.

Doug M.


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I've not seen one either, which I lament to no end.

I'm guessing the problem is a lack of punch and/or versatility (oddly enough). I've played a few bloatmage characters (never past character level 10), and it always seemed like I was waiting for just another few levels before it could really shine. Ironically, I suppose it's a top-heavy class?


Emo Duck wrote:
I'm guessing the problem is a lack of punch and/or versatility (oddly enough). I've played a few bloatmage characters (never past character level 10), and it always seemed like I was waiting for just another few levels before it could really shine. Ironically, I suppose it's a top-heavy class?

Really? Huh. I haven't played one, but I have the impression that both the benefits and the problems for this PrC kick in right away. What were you waiting for -- and, more generally, what was your experience?

Doug M.


Douglas Muir 406 wrote:


Really? Huh. I haven't played one, but I have the impression that both the benefits and the problems for this PrC kick in right away. What were you waiting for -- and, more generally, what was your experience?

I'm going on subjective experience and hazy memories here, so I can't rule out that I just wasn't playing to the strengths of the class.

However, in the early levels I recall feeling that I didn't really have enough blood points to make a dramatic difference in spell availability. It certainly improved when I was able to use the Bloat ability twice per day (with twice the dice), but that's already level 9. What I really was looking forward to was the capstone of being able to drink blood in order to use bloodline abilities - but by then the character would be level 15, and those 10 levels would be without progress in wizard school abilities.

My impression was that the class doesn't truly become distinctive until level 3 and 4 (with Corpulence and a quadrupling of the Bloat ability respectively), and it was vexing to see the wizard class abilities (in my case) atrophy in return for something that felt rather less gradual.

I never did get to play a character that gained enough experience to get the capstone, though.


Having played a bloatmage, it felt (slightly) tougher than a wizard but I never really had problems being flexible. Minor abilities for the most part, and I never missed the wizard class abilities that weren't going up any farther - I had other abilities which were.

Drinking blood to use bloodline abilities... <shrug> By the time it could have worked, we were near the end of Curse of the Crimson Throne anyway.

Feats were very tight (you have several required feats to get into the class), but that just meant I had to make the most use of what I did have... and a full casting class usually can think of things to do. Slight nerfs on a wizard leave one, well, still a wizard.


Hey, Tony.

Can someone explain how the points work, then? I'm not sure I understand it from a cold read.

Doug M.


You can use blood points to cast a spell without losing it from memory (or without expending the spell if you're a spontaneous caster). If you've already cast all your spells, well, the ability isn't very helpful; you use it to get extra castings before running out, so it stretches your endurance.

When memorizing spells, you refill your pool (up to your bloatmage level) and you can also charge yourself up by getting extra blood points (but if you go too far over your limit, Bad Things happen) - generally this gives you a few extra spells a day, possibly of up to your highest level. Which is never a bad thing, though it's like pearls of power in that you can only use stuff you already have in your head, not extra slots you can fill with anything. I mostly used it to cast extra copies of stuff I was regularly using anyway, and carefully monitored my situation so I wasn't going to go crazy.

If, say, you're a wizard 5/bloatmage 2, you have a pool of 2, which you could use to cast 1 2nd level spell or 2 1st level spells without losing them - you could add 1d4 points on a bloodsurge, but you don't want to get 4 because that would put you at twice your limit and you'd go crazy. So you don't surge, unless you're doing the thing where you could regulate the surge a bit.

The other abilities are mostly extra toughness and defensive abilities (always good), plus being more affected by bleed damage (not good but it doesn't come up very often).


So at bloatmage L1, you can gain d4 extra points, but if you're starting at 1 point, a roll of 2 or higher and you go mad. Even if you've burned your single point and are starting at 0, you'll go mad on a 3 or 4. Don't bloat at first level. -- Hm, actually the whole chart is carefully contrived to keep tempting you into danger. If you play carefully, you can always avoid raging -- but because higher level spells are a lot more useful, careful play is suboptimal play.

So anyway -- a 5th level wizard / 5th level bloatmage has 5 points and can roll a d8 for more. If he wants to maximize his points without risking rage, he should spend 3 and then roll that d8 -- he'll end up with 3-10 points, average 7-8. Good chance of being sickened, but you can't rage. Okay, I see it. And if you take the "can subtract -1 from bloat rolls" ritual option, then best choice is to spend 2 points and then roll, ending up with 4-10 points.

A couple of questions come to mind.

1) What's the cheapest way to get rid of the Sickened condition? The class description doesn't give a duration, and I don't think Sickened automatically passes just by resting or whatever. I know there are a lot

2) Does the -2 Con penalty kick in when you do your rituals, or when you choose to take the -1 from your bloating roll?

Doug M.


Even suboptimal play as a bloatmage is "multiple extra spellcastings per day", which is pretty powerful.

Not sure about getting rid of Sickened.

I'm guessing the -2 Con penalty kicks in when you do your rituals (that's when you're doing all the self-cutting), at least that's how I played it as a bloatmage and how I'd do it as a DM.


You are sickened while your pool is over your level, you aren't sickened when it isn't...


plaidwandering wrote:
You are sickened while your pool is over your level, you aren't sickened when it isn't...

"If the bloatmage’s current number of blood points is greater than her class level but less than or equal to twice her class level, she gains the sickened condition."

That's a little unclear. Interpretation #1, you GAIN it when you have too many points. And that's all. You can have it taken off, but otherwise it stays. You don't UNgain it just because you lose points. You must get rid of it somehow.

Interpretation #2, you are sickened whenever you have too many points and there's nothing you can do about it. OTOH, you automatically lose the sickened condition once you lose the points.

#2 is cleaner and simpler and I personally like it better. #1 seems like a more valid interpretation of the rule as written, though.

Doug M.


#1 is not valid, you need to rule out interpreting things to create an absurd case

in your #1 you are sickened permanently unless cured, which is an untenable interpretation


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If you need to remove the sickened condition and it's permanent you have a problem. Remove sickness only suppresses it for 10 min./level, and anything else suppresses it for a shorter duration or gives a bonus to saves vs. getting sickened. Nothing actually cures it short of heal!

Fortifying leeches are designed to help bloatmages.

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